Seat belts

Seat belts in motorhomes

Another important safety aspect for consideration before travelling is seatbelts and child restraints.  Seat belts save lives, so an easy rule of thumb is to sit where you find a seat belt.

Motorhomes and campervans are treated in the same way as cars, vans and goods vehicles for seat belt wearing purposes - see RoSPA's useful fact sheet.

When driving a motorhome, it is important that all passengers use seatbelts. Before buying or hiring a vehicle, make sure that there are enough belts fitted for all the passengers you are likely to carry - this may be fewer than the number of berths.

Some older motorhomes have side-facing bench type seats.  Because of the way the human body bends, there is no legal requirement to fit seat belts in sideways-facing seats, as this could cause spinal injury.  For similar reasons, the type-approval standard for child seats and boosters does not include fixing them in a sideways-facing seat.

A child who is required to use a child seat/booster (i.e. all those under 135 cms tall who are also under 12 years old) cannot travel in a sideways-facing seat.  A child who needs to use a child seat or booster must use a forward or rear-facing seat.  See the DfT website for a full explanation.

Older motorhomes may also have unbelted forward facing seats but will not be built to allow retro-fitting of seat belts, as specialist fixing points are not provided.  You nevertheless should make sure there are seat belts for all travelling passengers.